Repulsion (re-release) Image

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Summary: Roman Polanski followed up his international breakthrough Knife in the Water with this controversial tale of psychosis. Catherine Deneuve is Carol, a fragile, frigid young beauty cracking up in her London flat when left alone by her vacationing sister. She is soon haunted by specters real and imagined, and her insanity grows to a violent, hysterical pitch. (The Criterion Collection) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Repulsion is a classy, truly horrific psychological drama in which Polish director Roman Polanski draws out a remarkable performance from young French thesp, Catherine Deneuve. (Review of Original Release)
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Dec 31, 2012
    If hell is in the details, Roman Polanski has captured it here in his disturbing portrait of falling into psychosis.
  3. Reviewed by: Bosley Crowther
    An absolute knockout of a movie in the psychological horror line has been accomplished by Roman Polanski in his first English-language film. (Review of Original Release)
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Repulsion has often been compared to "Psycho," but Polanski's film, rather than presenting a portrait of a psychotic killer from outside, pulls the audience into the crazed individual's mind. (Review of Original Release)
  5. The cruelty of his methods aside -- and Polanski wasn't the first director to terrorize an actor for the sake of a performance -- Repulsion is a frightening, fiercely entertaining experience that holds up to time. (Review of May 1998 revival)
  6. Roman Polanski's first film in English (1965, 105 min.) is still his scariest and most disturbing--not only for its evocations of sexual panic, but also because his masterful employment of sound puts the audience's imagination to work in numerous ways...As narrative this works only part of the time, and as case study it may occasionally seem too pat, but as subjective nightmare it's a stunning piece of filmmaking.
  7. The movie's shake-and-bake mix of "reality" and crumbling subjectivity is too deliberate to be about character--it is, rather, a game of movieness, a masquerade of Grand Guignol–as-psyche, virtually a parody of the surrealist's notion of consciousness bagged and tagged on celluloid.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. May 15, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A fantastic movie. It is beautiful in every aspect. Story, image, acting; plot, music.. It isn t realy that kind of a movie that gives you much of suspence rather than a movie that gives you insight and lets you enjoy the slow decay of the tormented mind of a sick and mad woman. Expand
  2. ClintH
    Apr 18, 2006
    Deeply, truly disturbing.
  3. GammyM.
    Aug 8, 2009
    It is fun, but reminds me of a film school exercise. Too heavy handed and even a little trite.
  4. kirsim.
    Nov 22, 2007
    Innocent woman sinks to the agonising dephts of schitzophrenia. Thats it. Admittedly it is rather tame (only reason why I give it 3 points, not 0) but it is still voyeurism. Hey, Cathy Deneuve looks good. Look, when she does crazy stunts like crazies do! Albeit visually more dreary than sleazy - b&w photography, clunky music, you know, everything artsy. - Repulsion is still wildly overrated. The voyeurism stinks like outhouse at summer. Expand
  5. May 15, 2013
    The story is not bad, but the film is so boring and takes a long time until finally something happens. When something finally happens this is the "highlight" of the film. Even old movies should be entertaining. In my opinion this film is not. Expand
  6. Feb 20, 2014
    Not scary, not interesting - just pretentious. Literally nothing happens in the first 3/4 of the movie. You watch a character with no personality walk around London and gaze out the window of her apartment for the majority of the film. I guess it's supposed to be artistic or something, but I can't really see it.

    This is one of the most boring and least rewarding films I've watched in years. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.